EV brand ZEEKR’s first European-bound car rolls out the factory, as it eyes up expansion

  • ZEEKR announced that the first European homologation of its ‘001’ EV model rolled out of its factory in China.
  • The company also announced four more European territories that the newcomer will enter, in addition to the Netherlands and Sweden.
  • The brand’s premium orientation could make for interesting comparisons between its sibling company Volvo.

Another Chinese EV company makes its first foray into Europe

ZEEKR, a premium-oriented electric car brand owned by Geely, the conglomerate behind other brands such as Volvo, Lotus, and LEVC, announced earlier this year that two of its EV models already sold in China – the compact SUV ‘X’ and shooting brake style ‘001’ would be hitting certain countries within Europe this year.

Now, the company has shown off the first ZEEKR 001 bound for Europe, rolling off its production line in Ningbo, China. At the same time, ZEEKR also revealed that the duo will be available in Norway, Germany, Denmark, and France in the near future, in addition to the already-confirmed markets of the Netherlands and Sweden. This is a similar strategy to Chinese manufacturer NIO, who initially launched its models in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.

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For now though, pre-orders are only open to those two nations. In the Netherlands at least, the ZEEKR 001 will start at €60,490 (£52,149), while the ZEEKR X starts at a lower €45,990 (£39,650). With prices similar to its sibling brand Volvo’s EV offerings, it’ll be interesting to see how Geely differentiates the two premium brands within the European market.

Pre-ordering also grants buyers three years free servicing and four months worth of free public charging, which should be something to sway them away from European alternatives.

The Euro-spec models differ slightly to the ones already being sold in China, namely the replacement of China’s own GB/T charging standard for the CCS charging port used throughout Europe.

Will the ZEEKR models make it to the UK?

There was no mention of the UK yet, but the company noted that it is “actively exploring entry” into additional markets. With the RHD conversion adding complexity to the production line, the UK will need to show sufficient appetite for the ZEEKR brand – Tesla recently has quietly discontinued the right-handed versions of its Model S and Model X. However, ZEEKR’s premium EV Chinese rival NIO has confirmed that it will be launching in the UK soon.

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